In Wisconsin a well-balanced meal consists of three things: Beer, cheese and sausage. As long as a dish consists of those ingredients, the citizens of the Badger State will be happy, especially if it requires two feet of meat to make.
That’s the thinking behind the Green Bay Packer’s newest concession offering known as “The Horse Collar.” The sandwich features a 22-inch sausage, sauerkraut, cheese, beer and mustard, making it the most Wisconsin-y food ever created.
The Horse Collar’s inception began during the offseason when Lambeau Field executive chef Heath Barbato and his sous chef were working on some new ideas for the upcoming NFL Season. “We had some Andouille sausage and bread and thought, ‘Let’s bake it into a circle,” says Barbato, who’s worked at Lambeau for the past three seasons. “There wasn’t too much of an inspiration behind it. We just wanted to come up with something cool for the fans.”
To make the Horse Collar, Barbato and his team begin with 12 ounces of bread dough, which they bake into the shape of a horseshoe. Then they create the 22-inch sausage using about a pound of smoked Polish kielbasa. They then put on a special sauce using Wisconsin cheddar, heavy cream, beer and Dijon mustard. Finally they top it off with sauerkraut that’s been deep fried and tossed in garlic. Barbato says the sauerkraut “tastes like a crispy, fried brussels sprouts, which might seem gross to some people, but it adds texture.”
The two-foot masterpiece has been well-received by Packers fans. Lambeau Field concessions made 200 Horse Collars for the team’s preseason finale, all of which were consumed almost instantly. Now the stadium staff cooks 700 sandwiches for Green Bay home games.
At 2,200 calories, this may be more sandwich than any one man or woman can (and probably should) handle. Barbato estimates that about nine of ten fans ordering the Horse Collar share it with somebody else. And for those accusing the Packers of peddling fat, Lambeau does offer a number of healthy options including veggie burgers, fruit cups and gluten-free foods as well. But, really, what fans are eating those? Packers faithful wear cheese on their heads, after all.
Besides the Horse Collar, Barbato also added Brat’chos (nachos topped with bratwurst) and the Donut Ice Cream Sandwich (a pressed doughnut filled with ice cream, chocolate sauce, with powdered sugar on top) to the Lambeau Field menu this season. This means there’s a lot of pressure to step up the outrageous concessions next year. “I’d like to keep getting crazier and crazier with the menu as long as the fans keep buying,” says Barbato. “We have a very loyal following, and we want to do anything we can to enhance the experience.”
So the one yard long hot dog may soon be a reality.
Joseph Misulonas is an intern for Playboy.com. When not researching researching stadium concession food, he can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.